I get this a lot. It’s a common question from work colleagues and acquaintances who are curious about my exotic travel intentions. It’s always well-intentioned. Like most harmless Canadian small talk, it’s motivated by the possibility of having better weather to discuss than eastern Canada in February.
“I’m thinking Haiti.”
The response is always the same: “Oh, to do volunteer work?”
“No, to travel around.” I watch the faces crumple. You can see the thought process:
That place is a disaster.
The only reason to go is to do volunteer work.
Only a terrible person would go to Haiti and not do volunteer work.
Why on Earth would someone go on vacation there?
I don’t know what any of this means.
Halfway across Galicia, I ran into the unexpected on the last 100km of my walk: a heat wave. The heat combined with the large crowds made this part of the the walk challenging, but that’s the point of the experience.
After my first 100km, I was in the Camino groove and had a nice routine established. It was during this stretch I found my “Camino family,” and felt like I could Camino forever.
Over this 100km, I crossed into Galicia, which is the home stretch for those walking the 800km route. The geography is quite different from Castile y Leon – lush, tall forests, rolling hills, lots of rain. Except in my case, the rain was pretty non-existent.
While both preparing for the Camino and then actually walking it, I often heard, “Everyone does their own Camino,” and that proved to be very true.
It’s been a year since my Camino and I continue to think about it every day. Over the next three posts, I’m going to share my personal highlights from my Camino, the most delightful things I encountered on the way, and lots and lots of pictures.